Friday, September 28, 2007

Catching Up With Macalester Soccer (Men)

Last week, I said, "Big game coming up for Macalester against Luther, who are always a tough match. Incredibly improved Hamline after that. This is a big week for the men, both outside and in the conference."

I did not expect the men to take that to heart. I was offering analysis, not attempting to curse The Fightin' Scots.

I should also note that when I said, "incredibly improved Hamline", I meant in the large sweep of time. When I was a Mac player, Hamline was a joke. They could barely find 11 players who knew how to player soccer, and their coach was the hockey coach, pulling double duty. They are much improved from that, in that they now have a coach who knows soccer, and they have players who are familiar with all the rules. (Seriously, 10 years ago, you could go to a Hamline game knowing that you would see at least two whistles for Bad Throw-ins)

OK, so the stage is set now, yeah?

Macalester played Luther here in St. Paul on the 23rd, and the teams came to a scoreless draw despite 14 shots on net combined. It should be mentioned that Luther, after this tie, is now 3-3-2, which just doesn't sound like the Luther of old to me. Mac vs. Luther used to be games of two undefeated teams.

Also of note, quoting the article linked to above: "On the season, [Macalester keeper Evan] Mitchell is unbeaten and has allowed just one goal in 517 minutes in front of the net. His goals against average is down to 0.17."

So with such a dominant goalie, why is Macalester only 4-2-3? Time for the goalie experiment to end, I'd say.

But perhaps I'm being unfair to the other netminder for the Scots, as Ryan Palmer was in goal for the game against Hamline, and it doesn't sound like he was a slouch back there, even though Mac did lose the game 2-0. The first goal came off an early PK, and the second was scored with 5 seconds left in regulation.

This coming week becomes crucial. If the Scots want to be contention for post-season, it must start against Wartburg, and then inside the MIAC, they simply must beat perennial doormats Bethel. Over 200 minutes without a goal is long enough.

Let's move on to the ladies, shall we?

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